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Totally Tropical

It’s been an incredible year for our PSA one way or another, with a full calendar of events, lots of money raised and a very happy school community – all culminating in the flagship Summer Fair last weekend.

The theme, ‘Totally Tropical’, was clearly asking for trouble (although in the Gulf of Mexico, we are officially in the hurricane season). In recent years, inclement weather has been a bit of a theme but not this year! On Saturday, the school community basked in 30-degree heat for a celebration in the sun.

With the tropical theme, there was a fantastic barbecue, a surfboard ride and a huge wave to slide down. And when I say huge, it really was – as tall as the school. Disaster was averted when we managed to locate a secret supply of socks to ensure the health and safety requirements had been met. John’s limbo competition was challenging and definitely weighted in favour of our nursery children – and all this to a brilliant ska and old-school reggae soundtrack from DJ Nick.

This year the children in Year 6 did spectacularly well with their stalls, created through their involvement in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. It was an apprentice type battle between ‘The Slime Zone’ and ‘Tropical Drink Shack’. The former, did pretty much what it said on the tin, making and selling slime, but with the added attraction of giving everyone the chance to win money by throwing balls into the mouth of a giant cardboard cut out of my head. The latter cleaned up in the sunshine, selling all manner of tropical drinks at vastly inflated prices – a classic marketing ploy that can only be achieved with a monopoly.

New this year, and in my mind a great addition, was the impromptu ‘flossing’ competition, in which the best ‘flosser’ won, rather appropriately, an electric toothbrush sponsored by the Muswell Hill Smile dental practice.  Whoever came up with that idea is a creative genius. The Rainbow Dancers performed brilliantly on our new stage, stories were told in the Peace Garden and new popcorn machine proved a great investment.

The nerf gun shooting range was as popular as ever. In previous years, we’ve had to take aim at the baddies from Fantastic Mr Fox and bandits from the Wild West, but this year I was a little bit unsure of the ethics involved, having to take aim at rainforest animals. The day’s winner managed to hit two tiny tree frogs and a howler monkey.

What is so pleasing these days is how involved our school community is in the planning, setting up and general running of the day. There was a time, not so long ago, when the PSA relied on a smaller team of dedicated parents, working all hours to get things ready on time, and then long into the evening to get the last of the paraphernalia back into the basement. Jo and Jacks, and their incredible team of course, work incredibly hard, but it seems as if there are more parents than ever making sure that gazebos are up on time, the barbecue lit and the stalls set up and the fair ready to roll. We have a great team leading a fantastic community – the summer fair just gets better and better.

William